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İstanbul police use ‘crime maps’ to fight crime March 19, 2012

Posted by Bahadir Sahin in Calismalar (Studies), English, Haber (News).
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The use for the last six months of a “crime mapping” system has enabled the İstanbul police to be more effective in dealing with the city’s crime.
Crime mapping is a system that is used to map, visualize and analyze crime incident patterns. Thanks to this new system, the İstanbul police can spot where and when crime incidents are concentrated in the city and devise strategies to deal with the crime more efficiently.

The İstanbul Crime Analysis Project (İSHAP) was launched in 2011 by the İstanbul Police Department’s Public Security Branch Office, and it is the first in Turkey. The crime analysts from the police department’s Crime Analysis Bureau place crime data from all 39 districts of İstanbul into crime maps with the help of advanced computer programs to identify crime hot spots, along with other trends and patterns.

In the last six months, 2,500 crime maps have been created by the analysts, leading to a decrease in İstanbul’s crime rates. Since the system launched, robbery has decreased by 1 percent, automobile theft incidents have decreased by 13 percent and pick-pocketing has decreased by 30 percent.

İstanbul Police Department’s Public Security Branch Office Deputy Manager Ahmet Sürel told Today’s Zaman that the crime analysts are able to very precisely analyze crime incidents and prepare these crime maps, which aids İstanbul police in dealing with and preventing crime.

Stating that the new system not only gives guidance to police units but also helps the police to involve other citizens and institutions in fighting crime in the city, Sürel added: “For instance, when a robbery takes place in a district, we would search the district, and we might find that robbery is common because the streetlights were broken. Then, we would tell the district municipality to resolve the illumination problem or install camera systems in places where robbery is most common. By doing this, we also involve ordinary people and various institutions in fighting and preventing crime in the city.”

İstanbul Police Department’s Public Security Branch Office Manager Dr. Bahadır Şahin said to Today’s Zaman, “This new system enables the police to act more efficiently, and it helps them to arrive at their destination in the shortest time possible to deal with crime.”

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